Considered as the oldest racket clubs in the world and the first of its kind in the subcontinent, the Calcutta Racket Club was founded by the British East India Company in 1793. Located at 95 Jawaharlal Nehru Road, the Calcutta Racket Club, a squash and racquet club, even predates the Harrow School courts by more than 70 years. Initially, named as the Fives club, it was renamed in the early 1800s, when the English built a rackets court in it. It is thus evident that, it has been a racket sports club for more than 200 years. However, gradually with the passing of time, the game of Rackets gave way to squash in the 1930s and the Club is now commonly known as the Squash Club.
With the election of Raja PC Lall of Narayanganj in 1936, the Calcutta Racket Club became the first European institution to open its doors to the Indians. Much later, Mr. AN Choudhury joined the Club and became its President in 1948. His son, Jayanto Nath Chaudhury, the Chief of the Army Staff of the Indian Army from 1962 to 1966, was a distinguished patron of the club from 1969 until his death.
The Calcutta Racket Club developed rapidly after 1948. Today, it is equipped with seven squash courts of which two are glass-backed international standard tournament courts, complete with a large spectator gallery. One of the other older courts has a unique sidewall standing viewing gallery and the walls of the courts are approximately 90 cm thick. Apart from the courts, the club also maintains a well equipped gymnasium for the players and the other fitness freak members. Currently, the membership strength is around 550, out of which about 150 members are active squash players. However, the number of the Lady member is far below than their male counterparts.
The Calcutta Racket Club is distinguished as the administrative headquarters of The West Bengal Squash Racquet Association, which is affiliated to the Squash Racket Federation of India. It successfully hosted the International Squash Championship in 1990. Apart from the US$ 20,000 Professional Squash Association championship, that drew players from 10 countries, it also hosted the Kolkata International, an international squash tournament in 2005.
Perhaps the important and unique feature of the Calcutta Racket Club is to nurse and impart training to a big bunch of kids by the professional trainers and in that way, it acts as a cradle for the future squash stars, as the eastern regional centre for the National Junior Development Programme.
Apart from that, perhaps it is the only famous club, which gives memberships to the children in their names, with the intention to further motivate them, with the condition that they have to be interested in squash.
The Calcutta Racket Club is the only club in India dedicated exclusively to the game of squash. In the year 1993, the Club celebrated its Bicentenary and to mark the occasion, invited some of the world’s finest players to participate in a round robin tournament. Situated adjacent to Birla Planetarium and displaying seven squash courts, the club is a small and cozy place to unwind after a hard day’s work and get refreshed with a fresh lime soda, a popular drink among the members.